A must-see resource for journalists reporting on public health.

CDC WONDER is an easy-to-use internet system that makes many health-related data sets available to the worldwide public health community.

Leveraging data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the tool allows you to query numeric data sets on CDC's information systems, via "fill-in-the blank" web pages. Public-use data sets about mortality deaths, cancer incidence, HIV and AIDS, TB, births, census data and many other topics are available to explore.

As part of this, you can search for and read published documents on public health concerns, including reports, recommendations and guidelines, articles and statistical research data published by the CDC, as well as reference materials and bibliographies on health-related topics.

Then, the system provides a number of functionalities to help you analyze and summarize your data, including the ability to:

  • create tables, maps, charts, and data exports with the ability to index data from any field or limit data by any field
  • produce ad-hoc summary statistics, such as frequency counts, rates, confidence intervals, standard errors, and percentages
  • compare specific populations, locations, and groups of people with custom measures, such as age-adjusted rates calculated with various standard populations

Data is ready for use in desktop applications, including word processors, spreadsheet programs, or statistical and geographic analysis packages. File formats available include web pages (HTML), chart and map images (bitmaps) and spreadsheet files (ASCII with Tab Separated Values). All of these facilities are menu-driven, and require no special computer expertise.


CDC WONDER has already been used as the foundation for a number of data driven stories. For example, check out the Washington Post's interactive map of the United States, which allows you to explore average high temperatures across the country.

Image: Screenshot from the Post's map.

Or, take a look at this interactive graph by The New York Times. Using CDC WONDER's overdose data, readers are invited to draw missing lines, comparing these against the reality of drug-related deaths.

Explore CDC WONDER here.